What is the electronic structure with respect to carbon in calcium carbide, #Ca^(2+)C_2^(-)#?

2 Answers
Oct 28, 2015

The answer is 1: 6 electrons


The number of protons ALWAYS equals the number of electrons in a question like this.

This carbon atom is neutral, meaning it's charge is 0. Since neutrons don't have a charge, you're left with protons, which have a positive charge, and electrons which have a negative charge.

In this case, the protons have a charge of +6. But the atom needs to be neutral.

Therefore, you need 6 electrons. -6 and +6 cancel each other out and make the atom have a charge of 0.

Oct 28, 2015

The carbide anion is actually #:C-=C:^(2-)#, and typically occurs as #CaC-=C#, its calcium salt.


The question is poorly formed; there are 7 electrons around each carbon nucleus. I'd be interested in the proferred answer.